Digital Construction in Denmark – UK parallels

Thanks to Bentley Systems (more particularly, an e-Seminar from the May 2007 BE Conference), I have just broadened my knowledge of ICT use in Denmark, and there are strong parallels with what is going on in more enlightened parts of the UK construction industry.

PLH Architect Claus Johannessen (with SITE’s Brian Sheldon – good examples of 3D PDF*) explained how use of IFC-compliant 3D models is now mandatory on all significant public projects, along with ‘project webs’ (ie: construction collaboration or ‘extranet’ solutions), digital tendering, and digital handover of documents for operation and maintenance. Johannessen then talked about BIPS (a 600-strong consortium of different AEC consultants, contractors, clients and ICT vendors) which has created manuals detailing standard approaches to managing constructing information. The new Danish building classification standard is now the subject of an implementation initiative to disseminate best practice, funded to the tune of four million Euros.

UK public projects do not yet make use of 3D or extranets obligatory (though some private clients increasingly insist on one or both on their proejcts), but the need for a standard approach to design and construction information has already been recognised.

I think the Danish approach is very similar to that developed in the Avanti project (and the PIX protocol sub-project), now rechristened CEAvanti. The original UK government-funded research project developed the Avanti Standard Method and Procedure (SMP – see previous post), and a new Avanti committee is due to meet in late June to help raise the profile of the SMP and to encourage wider adoption of the Avanti approach. The major difference, of course, is that the UK initiative doesn’t, unfortunately, have a large budget to help spread the word.

* Re: 3D PDF, I see that Adobe has just released Acrobat 3D version 8.

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